On June 17, I wrote about a visit with my Mom who was 92+.  My dear Mother, Agatha Cota Gastellum, died a happy death on July 12, 2007.   Her own prayers for a happy death were answered.  She had a great devotion to Our Lady and the Miraculous Medal and always trusted in Our Lady’s intercession at the hour of her death.  Mom  died surrounded by her 7 children, numerous grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

As my Mother was dying, I was struck by the similarities between our birth into earthly life and our birth into eternal life.  Our birth into earthly life is through another human being–our own mother–and she is the one who must work very hard to give us life.  Birthing a baby is rightly called labor.  Our birth into eternal life is also labor.  Our body clings to earthly life for as long as it can, and as it dies, it frees our soul for eternal life.

Mom lived a life of dignity and grace.   She loved life and embraced the joy and suffering which a life well-lived brings.  I will go to my own grave with gratitude for my own life and that of my siblings which was a gift from God and my parents who welcomed us all, and I will always be grateful for the lessons they taught us which were grounded in our Catholic Faith.  I know that as the days unfold, I will become more acutely aware of what I had in my parents and what I have lost through Mom’s death.  (My Dad died in 2000).